Each of the Red Servants had been given their own rooms within the Hanging Gardens. Naturally, they could rest by going into spiritual form, but there were many Servants who preferred to stay materialized. Especially when there were no worries in regards to their prana supply.
However, the interior design of the rooms was quite cold and blunt. To Servants, who did not require sleep or food, personal rooms were simply for protecting their privacy. And even that privacy was almost completely useless considering the role they were summoned to this world for.
However, right now, Archer of Red needed to be alone.
She sat on the bed and threw off her leather gauntlets—and then she looked at her discolored right arm. There was a black bruise like a curled snake twining around the skin of her arm.
It neither hurt nor inconvenienced her movements. But Archer could tell. This was a ‘curse’ of extremely high purity. Most likely, it was from that darkness which had swallowed her up when she killed Assassin of Black’s Master.
Assassin of Black’s repulsive past. The flocks of children, the grudge of the unborn fetuses. Right before Assassin of Black died and dispersed, this curse was probably engraved in Archer.
Of course, it would be easy to cut it off. Though Archer had no means to dispel curses, their group’s Assassin had the abilities of a Caster. There was also the dual Master-Servant Shirou Kotomine to rely on.
If she asked for their aid, it probably wouldn’t be hard to restore her right arm.
But—Archer couldn’t choose that option no matter what. Naturally, she didn’t want to rely on Assassin’s help. The idea of showing any weakness to that woman wasn’t even funny enough to be a joke.
And Shirou Kotomine was technically Assassin’s Master. So she was naturally reluctant to request his help.
…No, those were all excuses. Archer understood. She had to accept this curse. This curse was the resentment of the children she loved more than anything else.
Fortunately, there was little pain since it was merely the work of low-class spirits.
And she didn’t mind even if this curse brought about her own destruction. This was a punishment. A punishment she had to accept.
She wrapped bandages around her rotten-smelling right arm, and decided to leave it alone with that.
There was one thing that Archer hadn’t noticed. It was true that what possessed her right arm were low-class vengeful spirits, too weak to have any effect on Archer herself. After all, Servants were the spirits of heroes who stood at the pinnacle of all spirits.
In the first place, it had been possible for Archer to reject the possession. The moment the vengeful spirits entered her arm, she could have even devoured them as sustenance without any danger to herself.
But she had refused to do that. In other words, she wished for ‘those children’ to maintain their consciousness. Of course, these vengeful spirits did not have any high-level intellect. They simply continued whispering their wish.
We want to go back, we want to go back, we want to go back. We want to go back inside Mother’s belly.
They could only whisper. They were vengeful spirits that should have been completely harmless. But Archer of Red felt ashamed at those whispers and felt compassion and pity.
Those were feelings that one must never have when facing vengeful spirits who only made appeals for their final wish. That compassion stirred up her emotions, and gradually made her hatred swell up towards both herself, who couldn’t save them, and that holy maiden, who didn’t save them.
“I don’t care.”
But Archer of Red accepted that hatred without hesitation. She couldn’t help cherishing those ephemeral, destructive feelings.
The more she hated herself and that woman—the more she could prove and believe in her own love.
So, for now, she would sharpen her fangs. In order to kill that false saint, Archer of Red continued to earnestly nurture her hatred.